Venom is one of the more popular Spider-Man villains, so him getting his own movie isn’t surprising. Unfortunately, “Venom” can’t decide what kind of a movie it is, and never really comes together as a fun ride or a gritty exploration of body horror and coming to terms with the monster within. Venom fans and Tom Hardy fans will want to see this, but everyone else will probably be unimpressed.
Written and Directed by: Jonathan and Josh Baker (adapted from their short film)
Starring: Myles Truitt, Jack Reynor, Zoë Kravitz, James Franco, Dennis Quaid
Rated: PG-13 for gun violence and intense action, suggestive material, language, thematic elements and drinking
“Kin” opened without much fanfare, and no surprise – it’s the feature film debut of not only its star (Myles Truitt), but its writer-director team, Jonathan and Josh Baker as well. The product of these newcomers’ work is good, though, especially considering that they’re new to cineplex screens. This is a competent, solid film with a few things to say and a driving, focused plot.
Directed by: Jon M. Chu
Starring: Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Gemma Chan, Lisa Lu, Awkwafina, Ken Jeong,
Rated: PG-13 for some suggestive content and language
“Crazy Rich Asians” is a pretty straightforward duck-out-of-water romantic drama. What sets it apart is its entirely-Asian cast. While sharp-eyed folks will note that the cast is all on the pale end of Asian, this is still a groundbreaking film. Every lead actor is Asian, as are the secondary characters and most of the extras. No more excuses when Hollywood casts yet another white person in an Asian role – here are a bunch of Asian actors to choose from with leading-role-experience. On top of all that, it’s a fun, sweet movie.
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Neve Campbell, McKenna Roberts, Noah Cottrell, Roland Moller, Byron Mann, Chin Han, Hannah Quinlivan
Rated: PG-13 for sequences of gun violence and action and for brief strong language
Movies Starring Dwayne Johnson almost always have a few things in common: action, humor, and at least a little ridiculousness in the service of entertainment. They generally are not subtle or full of nuanced character development. “Skyscraper” fits the pattern. The only character development is the villains realizing how badly they’ve underestimated our hero and his family. If you like this kind of movie and don’t have a bad fear of heights, this is a great way to spend a couple hours in air conditioning.
Directed by: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer
Rated: PG – 13 for some sci – fi action violence
“Ant-Man and The Wasp” is a juggling act. It somehow manages to keep a bunch of subplots, multiple character motivations, and a rather unusual MacGuffin in the air all at once. How well it succeeds at being entertaining depends a lot on how willing you are to keep up with the twists and turns – or your willingness to just let the fun carry you along like a bubble on a stream.
Directed by: J. A. Bayona
Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Daniella Pineda, Justice Smith, Rafe Spalls, Ted Levine
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril
It’s been three years since Hollywood tossed “Jurassic World” at us, and they’re at it again with “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.” As with the previous film, if all you want to do is look at cool dinosaur-monsters, the new film will do a pretty good job of meeting that expectation. Otherwise, this is more of the same badly written, badly edited nonsense. On the bright side, Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) is a bit less incompetent this time around.
Directed by: Gary Ross
Starring: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Awkwafina, Rihanna, Richard Armitage,
Rated: PG-13 for language, drug use, and some suggestive content
The heist movie is such a classic genre of film that it’s hard to break new ground. “Ocean’s 8” comes close, bringing us an all-woman crew of con artists and thieves working together to pull off the impossible. It’s set in the same universe as “Ocean’s 11” and its sequels, but there are only a couple of cameos featuring actors from the earlier films.
Directed By: James McTeigue
Starring: Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Ajiona Alexus, Levi Meaden, Seth Carr
Rated: PG-13 for violence, menace, bloody images, sexual references, and brief strong language.
A mom breaking heads to save her kids isn’t a new story, and “Breaking In” isn’t a great film. It’s moderately entertaining, though, and solid as a popcorn movie watched while you escape the heat on a sweltering afternoon.
Directed by: Joe and Anthony Russo
Starring: Every major protagonist from all previous Marvel films
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, language and some crude references.
If you’re a fan of the Marvel Studios movies, you have probably already seen “Avengers: Infinity War.” For casual fans, curious non-fans, and general folks who are still deciding: this is not a good introduction to this universe, and it’s not a typical Marvel Studios movie, either. It’s amazing on multiple levels, but it’s also full of more torture and death than the other Marvel movies combined.
Directed by: Brad Peyton Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Naomi Harris, Malin Akerman, Jake Lacy, Jeffrey Dean Morgan Rated: PG-13 for sequences of violence, action and destruction, brief language, and crude gestures. It might seem foolish to make a movie out of a simplistic, old-school arcade game, but “Rampage” is aimed squarely at the nostalgic 12-year-old inside those of us who are old enough to remember the 1986 game. It is utterly ridiculous and utterly shameless about that ridiculousness. Grab some popcorn and prepare to turn off your brain. There’s a story to justify the massive monsters that destroy a swath of downtown Chicago near the end of the film, but it’s more than a little hackneyed and barely merits recounting. Our good guys are Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson), former-special-forces-poacher-hunter-turned-primate-expert; George, the albino gorilla he rescued from poachers as a youngster; and Dr. Kate Caldwell (Naomi Harris), a geneticist whose groundbreaking work was twisted into a pathogen